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Vol 37 No 7

Published 29th March 1996

Equatorial Guinea


Oil companies not diplomats are making the running after a bizarre presidential election

Blatant cheating, with no secret ballot, a disputed electoral roll and the refusal to allow opposition candidates to withdraw, gave victory – and another seven-year mandate – to Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo with an embarrassing 97.85 per cent of the vote in the presidential election on 25 February. Ever since he overthrew and executed his uncle, Francisco Macias Nguema, in 1979, his constant aim has been to eliminate any challenge to himself and his Esangui clan. Yet now, under pressure from oil companies whose success could bring him a fortune, he may be about to include opposition leaders in his government.

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